Health support for students on transport
Schools can request the assistance of an Assisted Travel Support Officer (ATSO) to provide healthcare support for students on assisted school travel.
In accordance with the Student Health in NSW Public Schools policy, schools can request the assistance of an ATSO to provide healthcare support on assisted school travel for students who:
- have severe asthma, type 1 diabetes, epilepsy and anaphylaxis and/or
- have a condition that may require an emergency response and/or
- require the administration of health care procedures.
To request health support on transport, schools need to select Level 3 on the student's application (PDF 504.74KB) or change request form (PDF 237.73KB) and indicate that the ATSO will be required to implement an Individual Health Care Plan (HCP) .
The ASTP requires that all ATSOs who provide health support to students on transport have current training in anaphylaxis and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
ASTP runs regular events for ATSOs to ensure that their training remain current. ATSOs are also required to complete the department's e-Emergency care online course and for this to be current.
Students with complex health needs requiring emergency medication or specialised healthcare on transport will need extra training.
Unless outlined in a student's health care plan, ASTP guidelines clearly state that students cannot eat or drink on transport. This reduces risk when being transported, including choking or an anaphylaxis reaction.
Tips for completing healthcare plans for travel
You may need to adapt the HCP that is used at school to take into account that the student is seated in a moving vehicle and the ATSO does not have access to school resources or support from other staff.
- Involve parents and where possible, the student, in preparing the plan.
- Ask parents to check with their child's doctor about specific health support needs on transport. Important information for the doctor will be the length of the journey and student proximity to other students and transport staff.
- Imagine yourself seated in a vehicle with the student and think about how you could respond to the student's health support needs.
- For new students, talk to family members and the previous school or preschool.
- Keep the language simple and direct and avoid medical and educational jargon.
- Keep the plan to a single page if possible. If the plan is longer than a single page, copy it back to back and laminate for easy use in the vehicle.
- If phone calls to emergency services or schools are needed, plans should instruct the ATSO to ask the driver to call. It is part of the Contract Agreement (PDF 1063.54KB) that drivers can be contacted and have access to a phone.
Once your plan is finalised and approved by ASTP, meet with the ATSO and/or driver to discuss the requirements of the plan with them.
Medication on transport
ATSOs can only administer approved emergency medications listed in the plan.
At their mandatory training, ATSOs are instructed that they are not to administer any medication unless it is emergency medication as outlined on the student's individual healthcare plan.
The emergency medication needs to be clearly labelled and its location during transport stated on the HCP. Clear instructions for dosage and administration also need to be provided.
To assist with this, we recommend that you reference and attach copies of original medication administration orders, ASCIA action plans for anaphylaxis and asthma action plans to the health care plan for transport.
ASTP staff should not be asked to be the intermediary between home and school where the school requires replacement stock of routine medications.